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$20 Million Facelift For Tamarama Eyesore

By Sarah Healey on April 8, 2016 in News

Photo: Tobias and Partners

Photo: Tobias and Partners

Since the early 1960s, Glenview Court has been the unsightly bulging blemish that tarnished the pretty face of the otherwise stunning Tamara (or Tamarama. Popping out over the gully like a pimple on school photo day, the building has been well overdue for a makeover.

The building hit dire straits five years ago after being served with a Fire Safety Order by Waverley Council, and is riddled with concrete cancer. The proposed facelift will cost $20 million, with two penthouses being added to the top level to fund the redevelopment costs. It has been estimated that these will sell for in excess of $15 million.

This strategy was devised as a way to allow owners to keep their home and avoid dishing out for repairs of around $8-9 million. All apartments will get an additional 16 square metres of floor space, 1.8 metre balconies, two new lifts, new walkways, underground car parking, and extensive landscaping including trees, a fruit orchard and a vegetable garden.

Chair of the owners corporation Christine Smetsers said the strategy is a positive step for unit owners in similar situations.

“We saw this as an opportunity to do things differently,” she said.

“There are a great number of strata buildings around the same age with similar problems.

“I think it is one of the first projects of its kind run by an owners corporation and not a developer.

“We want this to be an iconic development that can be a template for older buildings and a significant development for the strata industry.”

The redesign not only promises to appeal to the surrounding residents of Illawong Avenue aesthetically, but also environmentally.

Architect Nick Tobias said the design will be a vast improvement.

“At the moment all the cars that sit on the tarmac give off fumes and noise at street level,” he said. “With the underground ventilation, the fumes will be released six levels in the sky, and the noise pollution will be significantly decreased.”

Although the project was approved by the NSW Joint Regional Planning Panel in 2012 and supported by a large majority of owners, Waverley Council has its reservations about the process.

“Waverley Council remains concerned about the manner in which this application was approved by the JRPP and the lack of transparency in this process,” a council spokesperson said.

“Council believes that the DA should have been referred back to Waverley Council for determination once the proposal was amended by the applicant to remove a substantial part of the original development, and thereby the value of the redevelopment fell below the $20-million threshold that requires the consent authority to be the JRPP.”

“It is concerning it could be perceived that the owners and developers have manipulated the process in the expectation that the JRPP would be more likely to approve the development.

“Council will be writing to the Minister for Planning, Mr Rob Stokes, asking him to tighten the rules.

“Obviously Council encourages all strata units to upgrade, but not to the detriment of their neighbours’ amenity in relation to height limits.”